Sunday, February 26, 2017

Finding Refuge from the Storm courtesy of Brian DePalo courtesy of Greg Willis
It was pouring down rain the day we met Hiếu.  We were at a print shop, standing under the awning waiting for the monsoon style rain to subside. It was the end of September of 2016 and the rainy season was in full swing.

Suddenly, from out of nowhere, a young man was standing next to us, also seeking refuge from the storm.  Elder Coffey said, “Hi”, and Hiếu responded, “Hi”, and that began a lasting friendship.  Hiếu speaks only a little English, and we knew almost no Vietnamese, but between the three of us, with the help of the Spirit, communication occurred.  Hiếu told us later that for some reason he was able to understand us that day, beyond his normal capacity to understand.  When Hiếu learned that we were on our way to church to teach English, he said, “I come too!”   

At the print shop where we first met Hieu

Hiếu at Young Single Adult Activity Night

And come he did! Hiếu came to everything.  He came to Monday night Young Single Adult activities, Wednesday night English classes, Sunday church services, and anything else the church members were doing. 

The church building is a major hub for members of the Church and their friends day and night every day of the week.  Always open, it is a gathering place for members on lunch breaks, a place for home teaching, a place to meet with friends. And Hiếu was nearly always there. 

Soon he began meeting with the missionaries and learned about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the blessings that could be his.
Meeting with the missionaries for lessons
Changing one's life to conform to the teachings of Jesus Christ is not always easy.  There are many 'storms' in our lives - physical storms, private storms, family storms, economic storms.  But like the physical rainstorm in which we met Hiếu, if we are patient and persistent, we can weather the storms, overcome our challenges and qualify for the blessings of the restored gospel.

The grandest moment in the history of mankind, supernal and eternal, was the moment Jesus Christ took upon Him our sins, paid the price for those sins, and stood with outstretched hands to receive us unto Him. Those who turn away from their sins, or repent, and follow Him into the waters of baptism, are freed from the negative effects of their choices, and forgiven of their past sins.

Today Hiếu entered the waters of baptism and made a covenant with Jesus Christ to follow Him. Hiếu asked Sister Coffey to be one of the speakers at the baptism. 

A 72 year old woman ( Sister O.) was also baptized today. The chapel was filled to capacity with more than 75 members from 8 countries coming to support them on this special day.  

Sister O.and Hieu, dressed in white, ready for their baptism. 
Hiếu’s mother came to the baptism (standing next to him in the photo). She expressed her deep gratitude for what the Church has done for her son. It was a glorious day for all of us.

Elder and Sister Coffey with Hiếu

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